Dogs start developing their fears in the first 6 months, so as long as you get the dog out there and provide them with positive experiences you have the best chance of forming positive memories. i would also start small it with introducing water, hose, pool, river to make sure they like it before throwing them into a vast open lake
I started mine at about 4 months. I actually had her in the boat a few times in the driveway first, and then in the water without the boat before we brought her out. good luck. IMO, it enhances your boating experience having the entire "family" on board.
Social health is a far greater problem than biological health. The life of every dog is massively influenced by the experiences that he/she has in the first 4 months of life. So, get the puppy out there having GOOD experiences doing EVERYTHING you can imagine wanting to do. Just keep the experiences positive. Just stay away from dog parks and places where dogs often eliminate for health reasons. And, stay away from unknown older dogs that may beat up your puppy. Take your puppy on the boat but ease into it. Everything wants to be fun, fun, fun.
I took my golden out right when we got him at 8-10 weeks. He loves the boat and just chills when hes on it. I cant stand when dogs run around the entire time they are on the boat!! Watch your coated ropes though... those razor puppy teeth will do a number on them!!!!
im gonna be doing the same thing in the near future. Hoping to get a pup soon! My plan is to get her used to being on the boat, in the truck, and all those places before we actually hit the water. Then get her playing with the hose, the pool, and being on the boat while its in the water and its quiet. then go from there, just ease into it and make sure its all positive like GD says.
Hey man..... Mine was in the boat the first summer we had her. She was born in October and on the boat by June. So, I guess she was about 8 months old. Could have probably been on the boat before, but she was a nut and needed some time to mellow first anyway. I guess the first thing to do is make sure he likes the water. We got mine in the water for the first time in Tahoe. Just kinda walked in with her. She was timid at first with the waves breaking in her face. It took her ball (which she'd already developed a major love of) to get her in the rest of the way. At first we'd just toss it in the area where she could walk, then went further and further until she was going fully swimming. It's amazing how quickly they learn. All it took was a day and she was totally hooked.
After that, the only problem was keeping her on the boat. As soon as the boat stopped she'd be in the water, chasing reeds or coming swimming after the rider. I used towels to keep her from scratching or puncturing the upholstery.
Mine is NOT mellow. Golden's can be either way. Mine is crazy and a bit high maintenence on the boat. She stays home most of the time unless we're having a chill day.
Hey Evan - thanks for the tips. Ill be working on getting him used to the water(pools, tubs, etc) & the boat (in my driveway) as much as possible before I get him on the water at the delt. So hope hes chill by the time were on the water. Hes supposed to be one of the most mellow out of his 9 brothers(fingers crossed).
Oh man.... he's so fricken' cute. Golden puppies are the best. They're super smart, too. Don't underestimate stubborn-ness for any lack of intelligence. My puppy did a good job of training me. Now that she's a bit older I'm amazed by what a good dog she is. Still really excitable when people come around, but really great other than that and learns commands at will. She still remembers the tricks I taught her as a puppy even after years of not doing any of them with her.
He'll be like your kid. Congrats man. I think my wife sometimes debates who I love more: her or the dog.... LOL!
Mine was born in Sept, got her Oct and only took her out once at that time. She didn't get out again until March, so 6-7 months. I did have her roaming the boat on the trailer, visiting the lake, etc to acclimate as soon as I had her. She was started swimming/jumping off the back of the boat when were freezing in full suits. One thing I did was she has a command for swimming/jumping off the back of the boat, and that is the only place she is allowed to enter the water from, which is something I tried to make sure of.
Main thing seemed to be the engine noise, took her a while to get used to.
I also got one of these dog life jackets for assurance while on the boat, as we'll frequently stop and swim in some deep water, and it's a great peace of mind. Best on the market!